As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.
Most people keep a close eye on their drains and drain pipes to make sure backups and leaks don't become a problem, but they may overlook the water supply lines. Although these lines would only leak clean water, not raw sewage, the damages can be just as great. The following are a few signs to watch for so that you can catch supply line issues early.
1. Pipe Noises
Sometimes you can actually hear a leak. You might pick up on the sound of running water in the walls, even if no taps are currently open. Another common noise that indicates a supply leak is a dripping noise in the walls. Rattling in the walls when you run the water may not indicate a current leak, but it does indicate that your water line mounts are loose and the pipes are shaking -- which can lead to a leak if not repaired promptly.
2. Increased Water Use
A major sign of a water supply leak is a spike in water usage. If your water bill is through the roof, check for leaks. Start by shutting off all water in the house. Then, check your meter to see if it is still registering water usage. If it is, then you have a leak in one of your supply lines. Call a plumber immediately so you can put an end to the overly high bills.
3. Water Pressure Loss
When there is a leak in your supply lines, less water will be delivered to the tap because some of it will be diverted by the leak. When this happens, you may notice a water pressure loss in the tap affected by the leaky supply line. If the leak is in a main supply line, the water pressure may drop throughout the house.
4. Wet Spots
Unexplained wet spots on walls, ceilings, or carpeting can all be indicators of a leak. If plumbing lines route through the walls, ceiling, or floors near the wet spot, you must have your lines inspected for leaks. Otherwise, the water damage will only worsen.
5. Musty Odors
Sometimes you don't see the wet spots but you can smell them. Clean water from a supply line doesn't have an odor, but the mold and mildew that the leak causes will have a musty odor that you can easily pick up on.
Contact a residential plumber if you suspect that you have a water supply line leak.